What needs pinching?

kywildcat2(z6 KY)February 21, 2006

Please forgive if this off-topic for the forum! I've noticed that the guides suggest "pinching back for bushiness" for most all plants. I would have thought that would deter a vine from climbing. Are there any that definetely shouldn't be pinched back? Thanks! : )

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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

You can pinch anything you want, but it might be undesirable for some plants. I would suggest not pinching a tree, for example! Many hybrid bedding plants no longer need pinching to produce good branching. Impatiens and Wave Petunias are two that I grow and they do all their own branching without my help.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 6:16AM
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tastefullyjulie(Lewiston, NY 6)

When do you start pinching? After the seedling has how many true leaves?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 9:59AM
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sedum37(Z5 MA)

Definitely pinch back zinnias or you'll get one long stem. I would think most of the annuals (except single stem sunflowers) should be pinched back to create bushiness. Check the back of the seed packet sometimes this info is there. I usually don't pinch my marigolds and they grow just fine so I think it depends on the plants.

If you buy any annual packs with flowers already on them, pinch off the flowers when you plant the annuals in your garden. This gives them a boost while growing so they won't have to waste energy on the flowers when they should be gettting established.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 12:26PM
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I've been looking in the archives, but wanted more answers. I'm starting lots of things by seed, but am usually a bit timid about pinching back, so I looked online to find a source that would list the annuals that benefit from pinching. Here's the list of plants I've got together so far:

Ageratum (Ageratum Houstonianum)
Aster (one-time in late spring/early summer)
Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia)
Calendula or Pot-marigold
Chrysanthemum, Annual (only before flower buds appear)
Morning Glory
Phlox (one-time in late spring/early summer, hope they mean the annual varieties...)
Pinks (Dianthus chinensis)
Sweet Alyssum

Annuals that should NOT be pinched back:
Cockscomb (Celosia)

If anybody has to add to either list (or disagrees with anything), the ones that like to be pinched, or that do NOT like it, could they list them for me? To specify, I'm talking about plain pinching to develop a bushier habit---not deadheading. Thanks. :-) Carola

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 10:56AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Since you may be doing other things than flowers or in case a vegetable grower reads this, I will add that vegetable plants require no pinching. Indeed, most will be harmed by it. ;)


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 2:30PM
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yes, please do. I only have the tomatoes on the like pinching list---but it would be great to add to my "do" and "don't" notes even regarding vegetables and herbs...

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 2:35PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I only have the tomatoes on the like pinching list..

No, please. Put tomatoes on the do not pinch list. ;) Pinching of tomatoes is not generally recommended as there is little if any benefit and it can sharply reduce production. One first has to know the type (indeterminate or determinate) and exactly where to pinch. Pruning (vs. pinching) a well grown plant is a different matter completely.

Lots of discussions on this in the past over on the growing tomatoes forum. ;).


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 3:58PM
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